Dom Waldouck weighing up the option of sabbatical

Eco-friendly centre Dominic Waldouck is unsure what role he will play for new-age Newcastle next season, if any, but appearing in the Varsity Match while still a Falcon is top of his wish-list.

The 29-year-old is out of contract in June and weighing up his options, one of which is taking up a deferred place to read Sustainable Urban Development at Oxford University.

So, instead of spotting green spaces to ghost through on Kingston Park’s artificial surface, the Londoner could soon be working out ways for our towns and cities to work in harmony with nature.

“I deferred a place at Oxford so I could play at Newcastle and taking that up again is a possibility because my contract runs out in the summer,” he said.

“Potentially I could combine the two. I could be at the university for the first term and then come back to the club if they agree to it.

“Charlie Amesbury went off to Cambridge University while he was still at Bristol and played in the Varsity match, which is something I’d love to do. Either way, not knowing what is going to happen keeps me on my toes and playing well.”

Waldouck has featured in every Premiership match for Newcastle this season but the recruitment of four quality backs – Maxime Mermoz, DTH van der Merwe and the Matavesi brothers, Josh and Joel – has put a squeeze on squad spots.

However, TRP understands Newcastle value the player highly and are prepared to let him enjoy the best of both worlds – academia and pro rugby.

“There is a lot of recruitment around midfield but if I am here next year then you have to back yourself to compete with these guys,” Waldouck said.

“It is good for the club bringing in such strength in depth, it shows the ambition here. We’ve made huge strides this year and next year will be about backing that up.”

Twelve months ago, Waldouck, a Premiership and Heineken Cup winner with Wasps, was preparing to compete in the fledgling US Pro League with Ohio Aviators after escaping an unhappy spell at London Irish.

That venture – the Aviators narrowly missed out on the title – and his spell on Tyneside, have put the smile back on his face.

“I’m happy with how this season has gone. I had a stodgy patch over Christmas when I got knocked out against Northampton and struggled to get my place in the team but I feel I’m back into the swing of it.

“After being in the wilderness at Irish, then  having a great time in Ohio and now feeling part of a resurgent Newcastle, it’s been an incredible 12 months.”


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